BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Holly Marie Spoonley
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
 

What to charge for photos used on a billboard?


I have been contacted by a group that does billboards and that would like me to do a session for their billboards. What would one charge for this?


To love this question, log in above
11/3/2006 12:36:54 PM

 
Holly Marie Spoonley
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  The group is a non-profit organization.


To love this comment, log in above
11/3/2006 1:32:38 PM

 
W.    What do you mean 'non-profit'? As in 'charity'?


To love this comment, log in above
11/3/2006 5:21:01 PM

 
W.    And WHY have they contacted YOU?
Because they like your work, or because they hope you will do it for free?


To love this comment, log in above
11/3/2006 5:23:57 PM

 
Holly Marie Spoonley
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  W.S. yes it is a charity that specializes in billboard campaigns in Florida. They have contacted me as they do like my work and want to use my portraits on the billboards. THey have contacted me with a vision and have asked that I do the photo session and provide the pictures to them for the use on the billboards.

I have read other threads in which people suggested to ask no less then $4,000. But this is a non profit organization that will not make money with the advertising from the billboard. Not like Nike or Enterprise. I do not want to ask for to much and do not want to be undersold for this project. What do you suggest?


To love this comment, log in above
11/3/2006 6:51:19 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  First of all Holly, non-profit isn't a euphanism for "no profit". It's not that they don't have money. Non-profit for all intents and purposes simply is a tax status not a financial status.

Sooooooo, having said that, here's the location for the Advertising Photographers of America and our membership survey from 1999. You'll find billboard usage in there some place. Remember those fees are merely suggestive and just a starting point for your own calculations. Also, if/when you use them, remember they're about 6 or 7 years old so you need to add additional percentages for cost of living, etc.

$4000 is not out of line, btw, although I sense that you're willing to undercut the competition just to see your work on a billboard. If that's so, it's hardly a professional's attitude.

Finally, don't just do biz with these people on the internet with e-mails. Contact them at a business address and phone number, talk to whomever you're dealing with, find out first if they have the authority to negotiate usage fees for these types of projects and do NOT under any circumstances, outright sell / transfer your rights to whatever photo they're interested in. That's worse than amateur city. Okie dokie??? Offer them a package deal for billboard use with usage in collateral materials for example, but don't sell them the copyright to your image(s).

When you're negotiating, remember, take no prisoners.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;>)
Mark


To love this comment, log in above
11/3/2006 7:44:41 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  BTW Holly, along the lines of what I mentioned earlier, when you say they will not make any money with their advertising, whoever told you that got it just plain wrong. Non-profits solicit contributions in dozens of different ways including direct mail, TV, radio ads, media ads AND billboards. While a billboard shot may, for example cost them $4,000, the financial gain or benefit to them may be 10-20 times that or more. And if they've put up billboards in the past, they KNOW what the cost is and they also know the monetary benefits of quality photography. Don't undersell yourself or be undersold.
Good luck
Mark.


To love this comment, log in above
11/4/2006 1:09:18 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  So Holly, was it something we said? Holly......Holly........Hellllloooo??


To love this comment, log in above
11/7/2006 9:02:14 AM

 
Holly Marie Spoonley
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Absolutley not Mark! I have been sick in bed with the flu. Haven't felt much like getting on the computer.

I am not underselling just so that I can see my picture on a billboard. I just wasn't sure if there was special treatment for a non-profit organization. I guess I had the wrong idea about what non-profit meant.

Thank you for your advise. I have sent my proposal to the organization and am waiting for their response.

Thank you!


To love this comment, log in above
11/7/2006 10:06:12 AM

 
Molly A. Galloway   If you don't feel right about charging them, then charge then what it cost you. Give them all copies of all the reciepts and make sure you tell them that this is a one time thing, etc.

Don't go in the whole though!!!!


To love this comment, log in above
11/8/2006 5:31:30 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  My pleasure Holly. Hope you're feeling much better. ;>) If you feel like it when you hear back from them, I'd be curious as to what happened so feel free to drop me an e-mail or post it here.
Mark


To love this comment, log in above
11/9/2006 5:39:49 PM

 
Holly Marie Spoonley
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Definitley Mark!!!


To love this comment, log in above
11/9/2006 6:33:43 PM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.